An investigation was started today following the latest accident to involve an Amtrak train after a derailment in Vermont that saw two cars fall down an embankment.
The accident on Monday left four passengers and three crew members injured. The Vermonter was carrying 102 people from St. Albans to Washington, D.C. The train derailed on Monday morning in Northfield, Vermont.
This was just the latest in a series of crashes involving Amtrak trains and it could have been far worse for those on board. Reports stated the train hit rock that had fallen from a ledge, sending the locomotive and a passenger car falling into a ravine.
On Tuesday officials were at the scene of the railroad crash. Gov. Peter Shumlin and Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman held a media briefing on Tuesday morning to update the press and public on the investigation and plans for clean-up.
Further details emerged about those who were injured in the crash. Boardman said four passengers and three crew members who were hurt in the latest derailment have now been released from the hospital. However, a conductor remains in the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center where he is being treated for serious injuries to the abdomen. He also suffered from a concussion and bruises and scrapes.
The National Transportation Safety Board also sent investigators to the scene to find out what went wrong before this derailment that occurred almost six months after an Amtrak train derailed at high speed in Philadelphia killing eight and injuring 200 – some of them seriously.
Shuman described the Vermont crash as a “freak accident” and the train does not appear to have been speeding at the time of the accident.
“We have a very good safety record with New England Central Railroad,” Boardman said of the rail track owner.
However, the NTSB said it would give recommendations to Amtrak after its investigation. However, this stretch of line has a dubious safety record. There have been 54 accidents including 14 derailments that have led to three deaths, since 2006.
Most of the passengers on the train that derailed were in Vermont on a foliage tour. Although statistically you are safer on the railroad than on the highways of America, there is little room for complacency after high profile accidents in New York, North Carolina, California and Philadelphia. If you have been hurt on a passenger train, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers for a free consultation at 757.455.0077.